Texas Democrat to Switch Parties Giving GOP a Super Majority

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(Texas Tribune)
Texas Democrat Allan Ritter told associates he is switching parties next week. The move will give Republicans a super-majority in the Texas chamber.
Texas Tribune reported, via Free Republic:

State Rep. Allan Ritter, D-Nederland, is telling associates he will switch to the Republican Party next week. Ritter was not immediately available for comment.

That would give the GOP a 100-member supermajority in the Legislature’s lower chamber — a number that allows them to pass constitutional amendments and other matters without seeking support from the Democrats.

A Ritter switch would also give Speaker Joe Straus another vote in the House Republican Caucus, which could turn out to be the forum where the next speaker is chosen. Straus foes within the GOP say they want a leader who can get the post without depending, as Straus did two years ago, on support from the minority party. Straus says he has the majority of the Republicans on his side; a vote inside the caucus would prove it.

Ritter, who would have been a candidate two years ago had the Democrats had a majority, is now with Straus.

The East Texan is in a conservative district; in fact, after the Republican sweep in the latest election, his is the most conservative seat in the House represented by a Democrat. He was one of the survivors in the elections last month, a result that might have been different if the Republicans had found a candidate to run against him.

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